Egypt's Sisi lauds Trump's efforts to sponsor GERD talks

Ahram Online , Monday 4 Nov 2019

US President Donald Trump is set to receive the foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in the Oval Office at the beginning of talks

S. President Donald Trump meets with Egypt
US. President Donald Trump meets with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (Reuters)

Egypt President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Monday he was confident the US mediation meeting between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on Wednesday, set to be held on 6 November in Washington, would break the stalemate in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations.

“I express my personal gratitude and Egypt’s appreciation to Trump on the efforts exerted to sponsor tripartite talks between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia in Washington,” El-Sisi said on his official Facebook account following a phone call with US President Donald Trump.

He said the US sponsorship aimed to find a consensus mechanism which preserved the rights of all countries involved according to international law and in line with human justice.

El-Sisi and Trump discussed over the phone a host of issues of mutual concern. Egypt president described Trump as a “unique man with power to face crises.”

Ethiopia and Egypt have accepted a US invitation to discuss breaking the deadlock in negotiations over the GERD, which has been a source of a deepening spat between Cairo and Addis Ababa.

The talks, which will be convened by US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, will also be attended by World Bank officials.

According to a statement by the Egyptian Presidency, Trump stressed his keenness on the success of the negotiations.

He is set to receive the foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan in the Oval Office at the beginning of talks under his keenness for a positive and fair outcome which preserves the rights of all involved parties, the statement added 

Tensions have mounted in recent weeks over the $4 billion mega project on the Blue Nile after Cairo and Addis Ababa failed to reach an agreement on how to fill the dam's reservoir.

Egypt fears the project, which is at the heart of Ethiopia's plans to become a regional power hub, would diminish its water supplies from the Nile, on which it relies for almost all its fresh water.

Ethiopia maintains, however, that the 6,000-megawatt hydroelectric dam, which is nearly 70 percent complete, will not restrict the river’s flow.

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